Standard Historical Last Updated: Feb 04, 2015
ASTM D4460-97(2009)

Standard Practice for Calculating Precision Limits Where Values are Calculated from Other Test Methods

Significance and Use

Precision limits for a test result that is calculated by addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division of two other test results that have valid precision limits can be calculated directly. This saves the cost and delay of conducting an interlaboratory study.

At the heart of statistical theory is the concept of a frequency distribution of a random variable. The precision limit of the random variable is determined by the standard deviation of the variable. The standard deviation of a random variable that is the sum, difference, product, or quotient of two other random variables can be calculated simply so long as the individual variables are independent and the standard deviations are small relative to their mean values. These restrictions are usually met in ASTM methods. In those cases where these restrictions are not met, other methods can be used. Only cases complying with the restrictions are covered in this standard.


1.1 This practice covers techniques for calculating precision limits when values are calculated from two other methods having precision limits.

1.2 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.03
Developed by Subcommittee: D04.94
Pages: 3
DOI: 10.1520/D4460-97R09
ICS Code: 93.080.20